Election turnout exceeds 70 percent in Washington County

November 07, 2012|By DON AINES |
  • Signs that directed voters to polling places in Washington County are piled Wednesday behind the Washington County Board of Elections office in Hagerstown.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

The unofficial numbers from early voting and Tuesday’s polling showed 59,238 of the 87,294 people registered cast ballots. That is approximately 68 percent of registered voters, according to Board of Election records.

However, that number does not include the 3,371 absentee ballots issued before the election. By Wednesday afternoon, 2,725 of those had been received and logged, but more came in Wednesday’s mail and more will arrive over the next several days, Election Supervisor Pamela Byrd said.

Adding the 2,725 in to the total brings turnout to about 71 percent and if all 3,371 are received, the total rises to 71.7 percent.

That would still keep it below the 72.7 percent turnout in the 2008 presidential election, or the 75 percent of voters who went to the polls in the 2004 presidential election, board figures stated.

This was also the first time that the presidential election had the added draw of the mayoral contest in Hagerstown.

Those absentee ballots will be canvassed Thursday, beginning at 10 a.m., Election Director Kaye Robucci said.

A second category of absentee ballots, received after the Nov. 1 deadline for applications, will be tabulated on Nov. 16 Robucci said. The absentee ballot 2 category includes emergency absentee ballots and some overseas ballots she said.

That is the same day the results have to be certified to the state, according to the Maryland 2012 election calendar.

There are also more than 1,000 provisional ballots that will be canvassed on Nov. 14, Robucci said.

Provisional ballots are issued to people who go to vote but, for a variety of reasons, are not listed as registered in that precinct, Robucci said. It has to be determined if the person could legitimately cast a ballot, she said.

Robucci fell a bit short of her election day prediction that turnout could go above 75 percent, but it was still a busy day.

The phones were really busy, but I thought with the turnout and all the interest we had in this election, things went really well,” Robucci said. Most of the calls were from “voters wanting to know where they go to vote,” she said.

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